Clair Ward Smith, 86, Benson

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Clair Ward Smith was born on February 25, 1929, in rural Benson, Torning Township, Swift County, Minnesota, the son of Clay F. and Agnes J. Chepa Smith.  He was baptized at the Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ in Benson.  He grew up in the Benson area and the family moved to a farm in rural Murdock.  He graduated from Murdock High School.  While attending school, he played high school baseball and went to State while playing legion baseball.  Years later, he played baseball with his children every summer evening.
On October 2, 1949, Clair was united in marriage to Darlyne Ruth Fuhrman by the Rev. A. Beck in Fairmont, Minnesota.  This union was blessed with over 65 years of marriage.  They moved back to the Murdock area where Clair farmed with his brothers.  In 1951, Clair, along with other Benson National Guardsmen, served their country during the Korean War.  He was stationed at Camp Rucker in Alabama.  He attended school in Columbus, Georgia for 6 months and they lived in Enterprise and Columbus, Georgia.  They moved back to the Benson area to a farm three miles east of Benson in January of 1953.  He farmed and worked at Monson Seed, McCarthy Woolshed in DeGraff, and for the Benson Post Office in 1966, retiring in 1989 after 23 years.  They began spending their winters in Mission, Texas in 1991.  Clair taught many children and adults the right way to fish.  He enjoyed spending time at the lake, morning coffee at Sandy’s, spending time with his family and friends, hunting, fishing with the grandkids, playing cards, golfing, and gardening.  He donated garden produce to Prairie Five and furnished the nursing home with fish dinners. He was a member of the Benson American Legion.  Clair died on February 3, 2015 at the St. Cloud Hospital.  He attained the age of 85 years, 11 months, and 9 days.
Clair is survived by his wife Darlyne; his children: Brenda (Donald) Foss of Spring Lake Park, Melody (Rodney) Nordby of Milan, Dixie (Alan) Golden of Benson, and Michael (Judy) Smith of Fargo, North Dakota; 11 grandchildren: Nathan  (Keri) Foss, Carissa Foss, Bryan (Angela) Nordby, Shaunna (Andy) Goblirsch, Kristoffer (Kristie) Nordby,  Adam Golden, Erik (Jennifer) Golden, Darin Golden, Jordan (Sara) Smith, Joshua (Tina) Smith, and Marah Smith; 6 great-grandchildren: Tyler, Amelia, and Jenna Goblirsch, Nolan Foss, Chloe Nordby, and baby Smith due in July;  one sister, Carole Anderson of Benson; a brother-in-law, Laverne Skarsten of Benson; and a sister-in-law, Marlys Smith of St. Paul.  He was preceded in death by his parents Clay and Agnes, six brothers, one sister, and one infant son.

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